Lee Swanson, President of Swanson Health Products®
“Pomegranates are in vogue right now, and to me they’re an effective yet non-invasive way to erase a few years from a person's age.”
Lee Swanson, President of Swanson Health Products
Growing up in the Midwest the only fruits I ate as a kid were bananas—usually sliced up in strawberry Jello—and oranges and apples. My earliest knowledge of pomegranates came in the 8th grade when we had to memorize scenes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (which I still remember to this day), and I learned that “the nightingale sings on yon pomegranate tree.” But personally, the pomegranate remained strictly a fruit of fiction for decades to come. That all changed a few years ago when it was discovered that this elegant and exotic fruit from ancient times is one of the most powerful anti-aging foods a person can eat! Suddenly, news of its health benefits began popping up everywhere, from industry journals and medical periodicals to The New York Times. Around 2004 pomegranates achieved haute cuisine status, showing up on the most elegant of dinner tables in the form of pomegranate ice cream, pomegranate martinis, pomegranate dressing and just plain pomegranates.
To be sure, its tart yet sweet taste and garnet red color make the pomegranate a sensational fruit, but its real beauty lies in the delivery of some very outstanding health benefits. Today, Swanson Health Products offers pomegranate as an unfiltered juice and encapsulated as a standardized extract, or in combination with mangosteen and noni.
Pomegranates are chock full of antioxidants called phytochemicals that protect plants from disease. Polyphenols are a kind of potent phytochemical that protects our cells, and tannins are a particularly active polyphenol found in pomegranates, red wine and green tea. The specific tannins in pomegranate are believed to be 3 times stronger than those in red wine and green tea, however, and among them is an especially remarkable tannin called ellagic acid.
Current research shows that ellagic acid has enormously important benefits for the cardiovascular system. It clearly helps promote healthy blood pressure.
Another invaluable advantage to consuming pomegranates—either the food or in supplemental form—is their effect on cellular health. Again, there is considerable scientific evidence that ellagic acid protects and preserves the integrity of the cell.
The whole fruit is the best way to consume pomegranates because you get important fiber in this form. However, pomegranates are a seasonal fruit, and they are not the easiest food to eat, either. Since convenience is a priority for so many of us, unfiltered and unsweetened juice is almost as good as eating the whole fruit. Be assured that you are still receiving much of the fruit’s outstanding antioxidant profile! You can also get standardized levels of ellagic acid by taking the capsules in our Swanson Superior Herbs line.
My very favorite drink is two ounces of pomegranate juice, two ounces of fresh squeezed orange juice and four ounces of Reed’s ginger ale. You’ll literally feel the energy surge through your body as you sip this beverage! Another great way to consume the juice is by pouring one cup of it over an apple, then sprinkle it with cinnamon and bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for a half hour, periodically basting the apple with the juice. The juice becomes syrupy as it bakes, and the house smells warm and inviting. When it’s done, I sprinkle chopped walnuts on the top and devour it. It’s hard to believe that something so delicious is supporting my health and well-being.
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